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Nets fight to the end

jae crowder

March 18th 2017

 

Celtics 98   Nets 95

Without Isaiah Thomas the Celtics came into the Barclays with a two game winning streak. The Nets had won two of their last three games, both wins coming against the New York Knicks who they beat Thursday night at MSG and last Sunday here at the Barclays.

 

The Celtics needed some of their other players to step up in Thomas’ absence, Jae Crowder did just that. He had 24-points and 12 assists to lead Boston to a hard fought win on the road.

 

The Nets have been playing well and are just looking to finish the season with some confidence heading into next season. KJ McDaniels and Andrew Nicholson both played some significant minutes tonight and they produced. In the post game press conference coach Atkinson repeated his thoughts about playing some of the newer and younger player more minutes as he looks to evaluate the team moving forward.

 

Both teams started off slowly in the first half; it was not a pretty first half offensively. The Nets scored just 16-points in the first quarter and 21-points in the second.

 

Marcus Smart got the start in place of Isaiah Thomas; he had 12-points but only shot 3-14 from the floor. The Celtics had five players in double figures, including former New Jersey Net Gerald Green who had 11-points off the bench. Green also had a nice dunk after he cut to the basket with 5:14 to go in the first half, bringing some life to the crowd at Barclays Center.

 

The rookie Caris LeVert couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm last night however he is making good progress on his overall game. He has been working with assistant coach Jacque Vaughn and talked about he has helped him with his game during his rookie season. Caris had 5-points however he was played well defensively and did some of the little things to help his team as his shot wasn’t falling.

 

“He played in the league, he was a head coach …he tells me the ins and outs of the game, I learn a lot from him.”- Caris LeVert on how assistant coach Jacque Vaughn has helped with his development.

The second half began with a more aggressive Brook Lopez, he scored the first 7-points for the Nets and began asserting himself in the post. Then after a Jeremy Lin three the Nets took their first lead since the first quarter when they started the game with a 12-7 run. The Celtics led by Crowder finished the 3rd quarter well, at one point leading by 10.

 

The Nets made another run in the 4th as they started raining threes. First Randy Foye followed by Andrew Nicholson then Quincy Acy got into the action with his second made shot from behind the arc and just like that the Nets were up 74-71 with 10:32 left in the 4th. The Celtics responded however, Gerald Green hit some timely baskets and Jae Crowder gave them a 5-point lead after a monster dunk plus the foul with 2:42 left in the game.

 

The Nets had several chances with 9 seconds left on the game clock to try to send the game into over-time. Brook Lopez had the first look and Randy Foye could not hit the 3 as time expired.

 

“It felt good, I thought it was going in…..we fought till literally the very end..” – Brook Lopez

 

They fought hard but this was a tough loss especially after a great win against the Knicks and it was a back-to-back situation.

 

“Tonight was tough especially on a back-to-back.” –Caris LeVert

 

The Nets will look to get another win when they face Dallas on Sunday at Barclays.

Thank You for reading.

Sherman Gomez is a staff writer for PureSportsNY

Follow him : Twitter sherman@shermangmz1

Email: sherman@puresportsny

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Photo Credit: Julie Jacobson AP Photo 

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